Integrated Marketing Communications

The American Marketing Association suggests that integrated marketing communications (IMC) is “a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.” Marketing Power Dictiona Integrated marketing communication can be defined as a holistic approach to promote buying and selling in the digital economy. This concept includes many online and offline marketing channels. Online marketing channels include any e-marketing campaigns or programs, from search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click, affiliate, email, banner to latest web related channels for webinar, blog, RSS, podcast, and Internet TV. Offline marketing channels are traditional print (newspaper, magazine), mail order, public relations, industry analyst relations billboard, radio, and television.

A management concept that is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing work together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation. In practice, the goal of IMC is to create and sustain a single look or message in all elements of a marketing campaign. Practitioners such as the Oct Group, however, remind clients that IMC should “permeate every planned and unplanned communication at every contact point where the customer or prospect may receive an impression of the company. IMC incorporates the corporate mission, the compensation plan, the management style, and the employee training. It includes packaging, positioning, promotions, pricing, and distribution.” A successful integrated marketing communication plan will customize what is needed for the client based on time, budget and resources to reach target or goals. Small business can start an integrated marketing communication plan on a small budget using a website, email and SEO. Large corporation can start an integrated marketing communication plan on a large budget using print, mail order, radio, TV plus many other online ad campaigns.